05 June 2008

18th Century Trad

To hell with the 1950s and 1960s. I'm talking the 1780s, baby.

Valley Forge around 1985. Park Rangers usually have to get up in this stuff called living history on summer weekends. Actually, it was a lot of fun. Having pizza delivered while in encampment. Tooling around on my motorcycle in this Dragoon uniform was always a thrill. Lots of questions: "Isn't that hot?" always topped the list. George McGovern asked me a great question about the interior paint at Washington's Headquarters. We had a nice but brief discussion. Later, I mentioned how impressed I was with Senator McGovern's knowledge of history to the guy on the right in this picture. He said something like, "Yeah, he has a Ph.D in history from Northwestern you moron."

So what's this have to do with Trad?

In the 18th century, common dress for man was great coat, breeches, waistcoat, stockings and a linen blouse. Oh, and a cravat, stockings, hat and shoes. By the early 19th century, younger men were wearing trousers and pissing off the older farts who continued to wear breeches...until they died and the wearing of breeches died with them. From that time, 1820 or so...we have evolved to this amazing but not surprising statistic. According to Brian Williams (who's looking an awful lot like Ed Burns lately), 6% of men today wear a tie to work.

So, can the children of this flip flop & tee shirt generation evolve into a more relaxed attire? Maybe. Or, they could revolt and take us back to some sort of formality. Maybe the kids'll take it back to the 18th Century?

It was a great look on Paul Reverve and the Raiders. And very comfortable. Not hot at all. The linen blouse gets wet as you sweat and since the great coat is wool, it breathes, cooling you off in a very natural way. If I went into air conditioning and took the great coat off, I'd freeze. I think the attire could make economic sense seeing what the cost of energy will be in 50 or so years. Just don't wear boxers with breeches.

Or, if fashion stays on track, our grand kids will be walking to work barefoot in their underwear wearing a fanny pack. I'm betting people will be in much better shape.

1 comment:

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Nice uniform. Moylan's Dragoons (Continental Light Dragoons)...?